Writing a monthly blog about the subject of karaoke is not easy. I suppose it would be simpler if I ran my own weekly karaoke show; I’m sure I would have a hefty helping of strange & silly stories. Although I have been participating in this hallowed hobby for many years, there are only so many angles on which it can be addressed. I’ve written about popular songs, holidays, and provided plenty of tips on singing, overcoming introversion and how to be entertaining. I have never claimed to be an expert, although I have done my due diligence.
In other articles, I have interviewed KJ’s and other entertainment sites as well as sharing my own varied vocal ventures. After asking myself, “What have I missed?” I realized that it is high time that I go directly
to the karaoke crooners themselves. Who better to give insight to
the experience than the ones that get up on stage and bear their soul week to week? Some singers supplied ample answers as others were short but sweet (Last names are excluded for privacy reasons):
- Are you new to karaoke and if not, how long have you been involved in this?
a). Steve: I started singing about 20-22 years ago. b). Tracy: Only for about a year! c). Joe: It’s probably been about 4 years. d). Jackie: Since the early 90’s. Then about six years ago I was going every night and 4 years ago I started my own private karaoke business.
- What prompted you to come and try it out?
a). Steve: I was very introverted in high school but I tried drama, like ‘West Side Story”. Then when I would bartend at weddings, I would get up and sing and it was such a rush that I got addicted
and eventually ran my own karaoke show in Las Vegas, where karaoke is everywhere. b). Tracy: I was trying to get out of the house again after my divorce and a friend (the Chef at the bar) persuaded me to come. c). Joe: I saw it in a hotel a few years ago and tried it. My daughter also likes to sing so I’ve sung with family as well. d). Jackie: I’ve been singing my whole life, but then after my divorce I started going to karaoke every night. It was a reason to be in bars and meet people even though I don’t drink.
- Were you very scared/nervous the first time?
a). Steve: I was scared to death! Even though I did musicals in school that was different. The women had to push me to go up at the weddings! b). Tracy: Very nervous, but liquid courage helps! c). Joe: Yep, but I just had to remember to have fun with it. d). Jackie: I was extremely nervous, but I sang in choirs my whole life, so once I knew the song, the nerves would go away.
- How often do you attend karaoke shows? Do you just observe some of the time?
a). Steve: At least once every week or two. Yea I sing unless it interferes with my job since I work at the bar as well. b). Tracy: I would say about once a week. No, I usually sing if I can with the rotation. c). Joe: I average about once a week but when I was younger I used to come much more often. Every once in awhile I will just watch if I don’t feel like singing. d). Jackie: Every night! I don’t usually get home until 2 a.m.!
- Have you ever entered a karaoke contest? If yes, what was the experience like?
a). Steve: From 1996-2002 I either entered or ran more than 50. I paid my rent for awhile just on the winnings. b). Tracy: Yes, more than once. It’s hard – a lot of good singers. c). Joe: I’m not really interested in competing, I do it more for fun. d). Jackie: Yes I was a fan of contests but then I became a KJ and did my own shows. I lost interest in the contests and wasn’t making enough money.
- Do you travel to different venues or mostly stay with the same one?
a). Steve: No, not really, just the one I work at! b). Tracy: Occasionally but usually the same day of the week. c). Joe: Different places at first, but now just mostly Cagney’s. d). Jackie: Yes, I travel all the time. I run karaoke in 3 different bars and drive from Palm Beach to Miami every day doing this if I’m not working.
- What is your favorite song to sing?
a). Steve: Anything by Elvis or Sinatra b). Tracy: “Hotel California” by the Eagles or anything by Stevie Nicks. c). Joe: “You Can Keep Your Hat On” by Joe Cocker. d). Jackie: “Steamroller” or “Mustang Sally”
It’s interesting to hear what different karaoke fans or singers think about this particular avocation. This is just a small sprinkling of the vast and varied people or even groups that you may see and hear at any show. Are there questions that you would like to ask other fans or participants? Let me know for a future blog because there are plenty more partakers
to interview! In the meantime, have fun belting out your beloved tunes in your favorite haunt and check back next month for more in depth musings about your preferred poetic pastime!